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Leupold vs Bushnell scopes – This is the hottest debate among the shooters. Some say that Leupold offers better value for money and features. On the other side, some customers consider Bushnell a better choice than Leupold.
This can be super confusing especially if you are new to optics and shortlisting your first scope. As you know, both Leupold, and Bushnell brands offer high-quality scopes, so how would you decide which one is suitable for you? Confused?
So, Which is better, Bushnell or Leupold? Leupold scopes are a better option due to their durability, reliability, and excellent optical performance in lowlight conditions. However, Bushenll scops are less expensive than Leupold which makes them a good option for budget-conscious people.
I’ve got a lot more information to share that will surely help you in making the final decision. So, without any more delay, let’s get started.
Related Article: Burris vs Leupold Scopes – Which One is Good For You?
What are the Differences Between the Leupold and Bushnell Scopes?
I myself have used the Leupold scope, but to write this guide, I had to contact my friends who have both these scopes and know their honest feedback. In fact, I also did my own research to ensure that I provided you with the information which actually proved to be helpful.
One thing that I can say with confidence is that after reading this guide, you’ll be able to make your own decision, and you won’t need help from any other person. Let’s not waste time, and dive into the main part of the Leupold vs. Bushnell scopes comparison.
Also Read: How to Mount a Scope on a Henry 22 Rifle?
1- Magnification Range
Both Leupold and Bushnell scopes come with variable magnification powers. You should keep in mind that variable magnification scopes allow you to adjust the magnification according to your needs. Both Bushnell and Leupold brands are producing available magnification scopes. For example.
|Bushnell Scope||Leupold Scope|
|Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16×50 Riflescope Multi-X||VX-3HD 4.5-14×40 Riflescope|
|Bushnell Elite 4500 2.5-10×40 Riflescope Multi-X||VX-3HD 6.5-20×50 Riflescope|
|Bushnell Elite 4500 1-4×24 Riflescope Multi-X||VX-Freedom 2-7×33 Duplex Riflescope|
So, in the table given above, you can easily know that both brands are producing veritable magnification scopes. But one thing that I have noticed is that the Bushnell scopes offer a wider field of view as compared to the Leupold scopes.
As you know that field of view is directly related to the magnification level of scope. But if you choose two scopes from these two brands that have the same level of magnification, then you will be able to see wider space in Bushnell’s scope.
For example, you take 4x scope of Bushnell, and Leupold, so you will be able to see a slightly wider field of view in the Bushnell scope. However, both are quite good in producing variable as well as fixed magnification scopes.
Winner: Bushnell due to offering a slightly wider field of view.
2- Performance in Lowlight Conditions
As you know Leupold scopes are known for their excellent lowlight performance, thanks to their Twilight Max HD Light Management System. Bushnell is also good – but their performance is not as good as those Leupold offer.
Keep in mind that Leupold scopes will give you decent visuals before dawn or after dusk. They won’t give you any visuals in the night. Don’t mix the dawn and dawn with the night.
Bushnell scopes also consist of the FMC lenses which increase the transmission of light. More transmission of light means that you will be able to see sharper visuals in less light conditions.
But their lowlight usability is slightly under par when compared with Leupold’s lowlight usability. Thanks to their Twilight Max HD Light Management System. If you aim to use the scope in low light conditions, then I recommend you choose Leupold scopes.
Winner: Leupold is better to be used before dawn or after dusk.
3- Durability and Construction
First things first, their construction material is similar, so you won’t notice any difference by seeing their body. Both Leupold and Bushnell scopes are made with high-quality rubber armor material.
But that’s not the end! The Leupold scopes are better in terms of lens protection. Almost all the Leupold scopes consist of DiamondCoat 2 scratch-resistant lens coating which protects the lenses against harsh usage, and other outdoor conditions.
Even if the Leupold scopes fall off your hands, their lenses won’t get any scratches on them. It is due to the presence of DiamondCoat 2 scratch-resistant lens coating. But when it comes to Bushnell scopes, their lenses don’t have any such lens protection coating.
So, it would be right to say that Leupold scopes will have better durability, and reliability as compared to the Bushnell scopes. You will have to use the Bushnell scope carefully as they don’t have any lens protection.
Winner: Leupold scopes offer better durability and reliability
4- Reticle Type
Both Leupold and Bushnell’s scopes offer multiple reticle types, including crosshairs, BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator), Duplex Reticle, Illuminated Reticles, TMR Reticles, Mil-Dot, BDC, and DOA Reticle.
Both brands use different reticle types in their different scope models. So, I believe both are equally good. I personally like the duplex reticle as it gives you more confidence due to its simplicity and shape.
But again it’s totally up to the personal preferences. You will get different reticles in their different models. Before buying a scope, make sure to choose a scope that comes with a reticle that you actually like or love.
|Leupold||VX-3HD 4.5-14×40 Riflescope||Duplex, Illuminated, TMR|
|Leupold||VX-3HD 6.5-20×50 Riflescope||Duplex, Illuminated, TMR|
|Leupold||VX-Freedom 2-7×33 Duplex Riflescope||Duplex|
|Bushnell||Elite 4500 4-16×50 Riflescope Multi-X||Multi-X|
|Bushnell||Elite 4500 2.5-10×40 Riflescope Multi-X||Multi-X|
|Bushnell||Elite 4500 1-4×24 Riflescope Multi-X||Multi-X|
|Bushnell||Match Pro ED 5-30×56 Riflescope||DOA|
Winner: I would say that both are excellent in providing a variety of reticles so it’s a tie between Leupold and Buhnell’s scopes.
5- Turret Adjustment
Turret adjustment is a very important thing for shooters. Whenever they miss a shot, their finger automatically goes on the turret for windage and elevation adjustment. But the question is whether Leupold offers better turret adjustment or Bushnell.
I would say both – as both brands offer turrets which is user friendly, and you will be able to adjust the turret with the help of your index finger. The Leupold scopes come with finger-adjustable, coin-slot, and zero-locking turrets which are very efficient.
On the other hand, the Bushnell scopes come with finger-adjustable, exposed, and locking turrets which I don’t like. Why? The reason is that this type of turret slightly pops up from the body of the scope and sometimes you accidentally touch it which feels awkward.
This is why I consider the Leupold turret a better and their adjustment is also more smoother. However, both come with a locking feature that will allow you to lock the turret and without unlocking you won’t be able to adjust the windage and elevation.
Winner: Turret adjustment is smooth in both the scopes, but I consider the Leupold turret types a slightly better option.
Leupold scopes come with a lifetime warranty, which covers any defects in materials or workmanship for the life of the product. On the other hand, Bushnell scopes also come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Now comes the difference between these two types of warranty. In case your scope shows any wear and tear and it is in the warranty period, then the Leupold brand will repair it without asking any questions. You will send them your faulty scope, and they will repair it. No more hassle.
But when it comes to the Bushnell brand, the company will check your scope. If it feels that your scope has been misused, and you deliberately damaged the scope, they won’t repair it. For your Bushnell scope to be eligible to be repaired by the Bushenll company, it must not be misused. If you put wear and tear due to misuse, then the company will return the scope without repair which is to some extent right.
This step is taken to ensure that the customers use the scope carefully not recklessly which is a good step. I have seen guys who damage their old scopes and send them to the manufacturer to get them repaired or replaced.
Also Read: Burris Droptine vs. Vortex Diamondback Scope
The step that Bushnell has taken is actually very good, and it must be backed up as it is there to fight against such bad guys who misuse the services of the companies. However, the customer support system of Bushnell is better – in fact, I myself have experience.
Recently, my friend’s bushnell scope got damaged, then The Bushenll customer support team responded politely, and they repaired it. In fact, they replaced all the damaged parts without charging any extra penny.
Winner: Both Leupold and Bushnell brands offer lifetime warranties. But the excellent customer support system of Bushnell helps them win here.
7- Overall Performance
As far as the overall performance is concerned, both Leupold and Bushnell scopes offer excellent performance, with high-quality optics and rugged construction. However, Leupold scopes are generally considered to be more durable and have better lowlight performance.
But Bushnell scopes offer a wider field of view which makes the shooting a lot easier. All in all, I would rank both very high, but I still consider Leupold as winning this overall performance section because of their idea lowlight usability.
Winner: Leupold scopes because they offer ideal optical performance in lowlight conditions.
8- Resale Value
I believe that the Leupold brand is more famous, and popular. People consider Leupold more reliable. So, the overall resale value of Leupold scopes is better if you compare their resale with the Bushnell scopes.
One thing that I would mention here is that Leupold spends a lot more money on marketing. So, more people see their logo, and they kind of get more aware of this brand so they prefer buying a second Leupold instead of Bushnell. End of the day, the resale of scopes depends on the conditions of the scope.
Winner: Leupold has got better resale as compared to Bushnell scopes.
9- Price and Affordability
Leupold scopes tend to be more expensive than Bushnell scopes, with prices ranging from around $300 to $1000. Bushnell scopes are generally more affordable, with prices ranging from around $100 to $800.
But you should keep in mind that this price difference is largely due to the differences in features and performance between the two brands. You will get a Bushnell scope in just 100 dollars but its performance won’t be optimal.
Similarly, you will be able to find a Leupold scope in the 100 to 200-dollar range, but their performance won’t be ideal. The feature and performance define the price of the scope. However, Bushnell is a more affordable option.
Winner: Bushnell scopes are more affordable, and hence are the winner.
Leupold vs. Bushnell Scopes: Which One Should You Buy?
I would say that you must consider Leupold scopes when you are in the process of choosing between the Leupold, and Bushnell scopes. This is because the Leupold scopes offer ideal performance in different conditions.
You should also keep in mind that the Leupold scopes are very expensive, which can be an issue for someone who has tight money. But if you want to enjoy the premium features and performance of the scope, you should go with Leupold scope.
However, if you have a tight budget, I don’t recommend you to put an extra burden on your pocket. So, you must choose Bushnell scope as they will offer decent optical performance at very affordable prices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Leupold and Bushnell’s scopes differ in terms of optical quality, durability, and price. Leupold scopes are generally more expensive but offer higher-quality optics and better durability. Bushnell scopes are more affordable and offer a wider range of options for budget-conscious buyers.
Leupold is known for producing high-quality optics with excellent clarity and brightness. In fact, the performance of Leupold’s scope is ideal in lowlight conditions. Bushnell also offers good optical quality, but it does not match the standards set by Leupold.
Yes, they are worth the extra cost if you want the best optical quality and durability. Leupold scopes are built to last and offer superior performance in lowlight conditions.
Both are robust, but the lenses of Leupold scopes consist of a special type of coating that protects the lenses from scratches. The Bushnell scopes don’t have such a lens protection coating. So, Leupold stands out and is more durable.
So, which one should you choose, Leupold or Bushnell scopes? I am sure that you will be in a position to decide it for you. In the end, I would say if you’re a budget budget-conscious person and have tight money, consider going with Bushnell.
However, if you have the luxury of a handsome budget, I suggest you choose the Leupold scope as it will uplift their viewing and shooting experience. With the hope that this guide will add value to your decision-making process, I am signing off!
I’m a passionate outdoor activist who has got special love for optics. The school studies in optical mechanics and the travelling experience has made me an expert in optics like binoculars, scopes, and other devices. Stay connected with us for in-depth knowledge!